Beauty in Trouble

Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13

Critic Reviews

  1. Writer Petr Jarchovsky and director Jan Hrebejk collaborated on the formidable "Up and Down" (2004), and this 2006 feature, which takes its title from a Robert Graves poem, is equally impressive for its mastery, intelligence, and ambition in juggling intricate plot strands and memorable characters.
  2. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    90
    Recent history once again intrudes on the present-day lives of working Czechs in the masterful multicharacter drama Beauty in Trouble.
  3. What director Jan Hrebejk and writer Petr Jarchovský are talking about is the Czech Republic, ravaged for decades by communism and then left to fend for itself in a world to which it can scarcely adjust.
  4. Consistently inventive and surprising, Beauty in Trouble evokes human nature in all its strengths and weaknesses, contradictions and ambiguities. It is itself a beauty -- rich in imagery, deftly paced and structured.
  5. 78
    No matter how bad you may have it, you'll feel better about your own lot in life after watching the tumultuous sexual flailings of Marcela and Jarda (Brejchová and Luknár), a way, way, way down on their luck Czech couple.
  6. A subtle, unsparing portrait of families whose fragile dynamics fray under pressure. Its strength lies in the complexity with which the characters are written.
  7. Beauty in Trouble offers a meditation on the legacies of communism and the lure of capitalism, but also on the human need for love, connection and family.
  8. 75
    This being a Czech film, drama, comedy, history, and social commentary are served up in equal proportion.
  9. 75
    Director Jan Hrebejk and screenwriter Petr Jarchovsky ("Divided We Fall," "Up and Down") have crafted another well-observed tale, one with no heroes or villains, just people trying to make something of the situations in which they find themselves. And, with a nicely ambiguous ending, it's drama enough.
  10. A movie of stark contrasts and zigzagging motives, Beauty in Trouble moves from the golden serenity of a Tuscan villa to the powdery chaos of a Czech garage without sacrificing thematic confidence or nuanced performances.
  11. 70
    Whether they're navigating a recently flooded Prague or the pristine waters of a Tuscan swimming pool, the fiends and angels who populate Beauty in Trouble are like so many scorpions explaining why they sting the fabled frog trying to help them: "It's my nature."
  12. 50
    Will Marcela (wonderful Ana Geislerova) opt for brains or brawn? The answer might surprise you.
  13. 50
    Unfortunately, Hrebejk settles for unsatisfying allusions to the Czech experience that never break through the melodrama to make his case with any conviction.

Awards & Rankings

User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. LawrenceW.
    Feb 28, 2009
    6
    Acting and music are really terrific, but story line seemed contrived and the ending unsatisfying.